Cypriot breads

03 February, 2006
Brian Binns
Tempo, a local Cypriot supermarket, asked me to help them reduce the “crust” of wrapped and sliced box bread used for sandwiches, which was being baked for 30 minutes at 240ºC. Then the heat was turned off and the bread left in the oven for a further 30 minutes.
The Tempo LoafBread flour - 30kgImprover - 150gYeast - 150gSugar - 400gSalt - 1kgUnsalted margarine - 500gMilk - 1kgWater - 15kgWe successfully reduced the bake time to 28 minutes and the weight of the dough piece by 100g.However, the real loss leader – the wrapped and sliced of Cyprus – is not wrapped and sliced at all.It is a most delightful bloomer-style loaf, featuring a thin crispy crust, a light tender crumb, which is amazingly white, with perfect cell structure and a wonderful real bread taste.The loaf is scaled at 350g and keeps well for 24 hours. It then makes great toast.The loaves sell at a loss, for about 20p, but the local Cypriots buy them by the dozen, Covered with seeds, it can be sold at 50p. Here is the recipe (or as close as I can get to it).Cypriot bloomer-style 20p loafBread flour (circa 14% protein) - 120kgSalt - 1kg 600gSoya based improver - 1kg 600gYeast - 5kg Sugar - 800gWater - (circa) 60 kgThe “on sack” declaration reads: Wheat flour, Saccharose, Emulsifier (E472) Soya flour, Oxidising agent (E 300), Enzymes (Fungal alfa amylases).The nearest I could get to a flour specification is that it is 72% extraction and bakers use a blend of three, from different mills, as the variation is very great.The soft dough is mixed on a spiral machine for 15 minutes, divided into 350g pieces, moulded, and then given 40 minutes’ intermediate proof. It is then shaped.If the bread is to be seeded, it is done at this stage – all over with a delicious mix of white and black sesame and a little aniseed. Finally, the loaf is proved and baked.A bread ring called Simit is the last of the great products I discovered:The simit bread ringBread flour - 1kgSugar - 100gSalt - 50gCinnamon - 20gYeast - 50gOil - 30gWater - 400gBlack and white sesame seeds (enough to heavily coat the rings)This is made into no-time dough, divided into 50g pieces, shaped into a twisted rope, heavily coated in seeds and formed into neat rings, proved and baked in a hot oven.

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